Tag Archives: Toupe

The siren call of white

After meeting with Dave Mruz with Eastside Chiropractic, I knew I needed to do something about my saddle. It crossed my mind to see if somehow I could repair it. I realized that was playing with fire seeing all the trouble I was having. The decision was made to get a new one.

On my way to Sunshine Cycle Shop, I thought it through and it only made sense to get the same saddle this time around. First, I love the Toupe saddle. It is the saddle I have used since I started riding the road bike. Second, it would make the adjustment of the bike much easier seeing that the measurements could be moved from the old to the new and there would be less chance for an ill fit.

Then it was time for the most important question of all… What color should I get?

Specialized Toupe Saddle - White

Specialized Toupe Saddle - White

I decided on white. When I first got the white frame, I determined I would not go euro and turn it into an all white bike. The temptation was there and I was even encouraged to do so. However, I resisted.

I grabbed several saddles and put them in position on the seat post. After alternating back and forth between the white and black, I just couldn’t get away from the white. The black and gray accents just seemed to be made for my Giant TCR Advanced frame — which is white, gray, and black. I just had to do it.

Looking good with the white Giant TCR Advanced

Looking good with the white Giant TCR Advanced

Now I’m pretty pleased with the look. I still have the black bar tape going. I really don’t see myself going white with that. However, I might try a gray tape at some point when my current black wears out.

Yep, the white is taking over. Next up? Check it out!

Specialized BG S-WORKS Road Shoe

Specialized BG S-WORKS Road Shoe

Purrrfect!  White out!

I may have been sitting on my problem all along

I you’ve been reading LowCadence.com for any time, you know that I have been having neck, hip, and knee problems for some time now.  It has been a weird couple of months as I kept looking for the answer to fix these issues.  Finally, last night a possible answer came to light.

Dr. David Mruz of Eastside Chiropractic told me to come by with my bike and he would set me up on it and try to see what my body was doing.  So, I loaded up my bike in the rain and headed over — not sure what would happen.  I had hope because the good doc had already helped me with my neck.

He measured my angles and had me do various spins on the bike.  Then he started focusing on the points where my body touched the bike.  First, he looked at the handle bars, then the feet, and finally the saddle.

When he got to the saddle I heard him let out a “hmmmm” as he squinted down at my saddle from behind the bike.  “Come here,” he said. “Standing behind the bike, close one eye and adjust your gaze until the toptube is hiding the downtube.”  He moved me into position for the test.  “Now, bring the saddle into your field of vision.”  He paused to let me follow his instructions.  “Now, what do you see?” “Oooooo,” I replied.  “I see the nose of the saddle pointing slightly to the right.”

We further examined the saddle.  Turns out the carbon portion of the saddle was slightly moved to the left of the rails.  The saddle was also dipping ever so slightly down on the right side.  It was as though it has been twisted forcing the rear to move to the left which caused the nose to point to the right.  Looking straight down on the saddle you could see that the adjustment screws below the saddle were partially covered by the right side of the saddle.

My Toupe saddle after Saturday's crash

My Toupe saddle after my September crash.

What I wondered was  “How did it happen and when did it happen?”  As you can see in the picture above, the saddle had seen damage.  However, back in September is seemed to be mainly cosemetic.  I taped the saddle up and things seemed to be back to normal.  I don’t recall seeing the adjustment screws hidden the way I saw them last evening.

My guess is that the rails where weakened during the crash and then slowly the saddle began to collapse.  Of course, I was also dealing with the damage to my body at that time and that confused me trying to find the source.  It has never taken me this long to heal from an accident.  All of this points me to believe my issue truly is this saddle.

So, the next step is to replace the saddle and then get back on the bike.  It should become apparent after a few rides whether the problem is with my body or the saddle.  It could also be that it is a combination of the two.  However, we won’t be able to focus on the body until we even out the variables from the bike.

Is there Tegaderm for bicycle seats?

Tegaderm is amazing stuff!  After my recent spill that left road rash from my hip to my knee, I found the clear bandage “second skin” to be a welcome alternative to messy gauze and the like.  I’m seeing great improvement – it is like you can watch it heal through the transparent material.  Now, if they could just make Tegaderm for saddles.

My Toupe saddle after Saturday's crash

My Toupe saddle after Saturday's crash

Yep, that is my beloved Specialized Toupe saddle with a huge gouge in the right wing.  This was after only my second race using it.  It appeared I was going to be left with the same problem I was facing with the saddle I replaced.  The edges were rough from crashes and would rub the inside of my leg.

After attempting glue and black marker.

After attempting glue and black marker.

Thankfully, this damage is farther back.  It just drives the aesthetic side of me crazy!  In an attempt to salvage the seat, I glued the seat material back in place as best I could and colored in the scratches with black marker.  Not only did it not smooth out the edge, but it also looked nasty.  I was not happy.

Duct Tape!

Duct Tape!

I knew I could just throw some tape on it, but I’ve done that before and typically it looks pretty tacky and the edges get all turned up.  So, I went on Twitter and asked if anyone had any ideas.  Well, the best response I got was… you guessed it… Duct Tape.  So, I got some black tape and got creative.

The nice thing is that the two red tips at the back of the saddle are removable.  Previous year models had the tips pressed into place.  This saddle has them screwed on.  I was able to remove them and then apply the tape.  The tips help hold the tape in place at the curve of the saddle.  It should help hold the tape in place.  I did the messed up side as well as the unmarred one.   My hope was it would make it look “like it came that way.”

Matching wings!

Matching wings!

Overall, I’m pretty happy with end result.  Yes, I know that the tape may work it’s way up on the edge toward the center of the saddle, but I can easily replace it. $2 for a roll of tape sure beats forking over $160 for a new saddle!

On another note…

Check out the USA Cycling Professional Championship photos by Gabrielle Grace Smith.  She is a 15 year-old photographer that does some pretty good work!  Check out the photos she has of George Hincapie and you’ll see what I mean.